St. Petersburg’s rich cultural heritage has led it to become known as Russia’s cultural capital. With world-class museums, a thriving community of artists, the world-famous Mariinsky Opera and Ballet, a resurging music scene, and so much more, this city has an intoxicating energy and a sense of grandeur that culture lovers will quickly fall in love with.
St. Petersburg is paradise for those who enjoy visiting museums. From fine art to photography, the variety is definitely impressive. The State Hermitage Museum is considered to be one of the greatest art museums in the world, while the State Russian Museum is the place to go for Russian art. The Peter and Paul Fortress and Museum will teach you all about St. Petersburg’s extraordinary history, and the grounds of the fortress are dotted with historic architectural delights. The Museum of Space Exploration and Missile Technology documents the Soviet side of the space race, while Nabokov fans will want to pay a visit to the Nabokov Museum, the actual house where the young genius was born and raised.
The Mariinsky Theatre is one of the most spectacular destinations in the world for theatre and ballet. The Mariinsky has a rich history, and has had some true ballet greats as troupe members in the past. Tickets for shows can be bought online or in person, with every show guaranteeing an impressive night. The engineering masterpiece of St. Isaac’s Cathedral should also be visited, as this is where you will find the dome that dominates the city’s ever-growing skyline. St. Petersburg is full of rivers and canals, which is why it is commonly referred to as the Venice of the North, so, if time permits, a river cruise is a fantastic way to explore the city’s cultural hotspots, and to see St. Petersburg from a different perspective.
Russian cuisine is an aspect of Russia’s culture that has not quite yet made its mark internationally, but this just means that it is even more exciting to discover it for yourself in St. Petersburg. Caviar is extremely popular, and is usually served on crusty bread or blinis. Borshch is a soup that uses beets as its base, and although this may seem unusual when you first encounter it, it is a Russian staple, and for good reason! This hearty soup is one of the most famous dishes in Russia, with complex flavors layered all the way through the dish. Russian ice cream, known as morozhenoe, is also not to be missed – made with pure milk delivered fresh every day, this will be one of the creamiest ice creams you have ever tasted. St. Petersburg is packed with fantastic restaurants, from local cafés to high-end fine dining, so wherever you choose to eat, be sure to try some of the local specialities.
With its many cultural delights, St. Petersburg is commonly referred to as the heart of Russia. Although it once used to be a desolate swamp, the city is now magnificent in just about every way, and you definitely can’t go wrong visiting St. Petersburg the next time you want a cultural getaway.